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Villarreal v Barcelona Live Commentary, 28/11/2021

1 - 3
S. Chukwueze (76)
F. de Jong (48)
M. Depay (88)
Philippe Coutinho (90+4 pen)
Estadio de la Cerámica


That concludes our commentary of the LaLiga fixture between Villarreal and Barcelona! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Villarreal have a meeting with Victoria on Tuesday in the Copa del Rey, ahead of travelling to face Sevilla next weekend in LaLiga. Barcelona have a week to rest ahead of their next match, when they host Real Betis.
It’s back-to-back wins in LaLiga for Xavi, as his Barcelona side strike late to beat Villarreal 3-1 at the Ceramica. De Jong’s first-half goal gave the visitors the lead but Emery’s side took advantage of their momentum following a couple of substitutions at the 65th minute. Chukwueze would take just 11 minutes to equalise, getting on the end of Danjuma’s hooked pass before prodding it past Ter Stegen to level the match. It was not to be for the Yellow Submarine though, as Depay took advantage of Estupinan’s risky back pass, latching onto the loose ball before rounding Rulli and finishing with his right foot. Coutinho’s late introduction would only serve to bolster the lead, as his converted penalty following Foyth’s ill-advised challenge inside the 18-yard box put the result beyond doubt with two minutes left to play in injury time. The win keeps Barca seventh but puts them only a point back of Real Betis. The loss keeps Villarreal 12th.
Philippe Coutinho
Penalty Goal
90' + 4' 3-1 BARCELONA! Rulli guesses the correct way as Coutinho sends his shot low to the left - but the power of the strike was enough to beat the goalkeeper, giving Barcelona a two-goal advantage!
90' + 3' PENALTY FOR BARCELONA! Coutinho gets into the penalty area and looks to take on Foyth - who sends the midfielder to the ground in a heap after clattering into him clumsily. It’s Coutinho who steps up to take the penalty - can he give the Blaugrana some insurance late in the match?
90' + 2' The fourth official indicates six minutes will be added to the end of the match for stoppages.
Dani Raba
Yellow Card
90' Raba is shown a late yellow card for getting into a tangle with Coutinho, sending the former Brazil international to the ground in a heap.
M. Depay
88' DEPAY PUTS BARCELONA AHEAD WITH TWO MINUTES TO GO! Ter Stegen plays a long kick out of his penalty area, which forces Estupinan into an ill-advised backwards header for Rulli. Depay latches onto the loose ball and manages to round the goalkeeper before depositing the ball into the empty net! 2-1!
86' Villarreal’s Emery has only won a 5.3% of his games as a manager in LaLiga against Barcelona (GP19 W1 D5 L13), his lowest win percentage against an opponent he has met at least five times in the competition – his only win against them came with Sevilla in October 2015 (2-1).
Dani Raba
Manu Trigueros
84' With six minutes left Emery recalls Trigueros to the bench in order to send on Raba.
82' Another opportunity is wasted by Trigueros as the striker misses the target by a disappointing distance after Parejo’s good work to win the ball back and spray an accurate pass forward.
Philippe Coutinho
Nico González
80' Gonzalez will play no further part in the match as Xavi introduces Coutinho.
78' Chukwueze plays Trigueros into the penalty area with a lovely pass but the striker is unable to turn a shot towards goal despite dragging Ter Stegen off his line!
A. Groeneveld
76' Danjuma has been busy all match, giving Barcelona's defence headaches with both his pace and creativity. He registers the assist for Chukwueze's equaliser with an inch-perfect volleyed pass.
S. Chukwueze
76' CHUKWUEZE FINDS THE EQUALISER! He’s only been on the pitch for 11 minutes but Chukwueze makes the difference, prodding a shot high into the roof of the goal with a raised foot after Danjuma’s lifted pass took both Pique and Arajuo out of the play following a quick throw-in! 1-1!
75' TRIGUEROS SENDS IT OVER! Rulli’s long kick finds Chukwueze, who beats Mingueza for pace on his way towards the penalty area. The substitute centres a lovely pass for Trigueros on the penalty spot from the left but the striker sends his first-time shot over the crossbar!
73' Mingueza plays Gavi into the penalty area on the left, but the winger’s ensuing cross is blocked promptly by Foyth.
Óscar Mingueza
Jordi Alba
71' Confirmation of the enforced substitution as Alba is replaced by Mingueza.
70' Alba appears to have pulled something during an attempt to block Foyth’s pass, which has forced the left-back to go down to the pitch in order to receive treatment. It looks as though he’ll be unable to continue as Xavi prepares a substitution.
68' Chukwueze bursts into space after a lovely one-two pass with Trigueros in midfield, but the newly introduced substitute has his shot blocked by the well-placed Garcia.
O. Dembélé
A. Ezzalzouli
66' Ezzalzouli's match is over after 66 minutes as Dembele comes onto the pitch to replace him.
P. Estupiñán
65' Two alterations at once for the hosts, who also bring Estupinan on for Pedraza.
S. Chukwueze
Yeremi Pino
65' Villarreal make the first change of the match, replacing Pino with Chukwueze.
64' Villarreal are looking for a penalty after Albiol was held by Garcia during a corner - leaving him unable to get on the end of Torres’ flick-on. The referee doesn’t appear convinced although the Barcelona centre-back did appear to have both hands on his opponent.
62' Depay’s corner from the left can only find the head of Albiol, who nods it away from the penalty area. Alba attempts an audacious volley after getting on the end of the clearance but it’s sent high and wide.
60' Danjuma cuts inside from the left and fires a low shot looking for the near post, which misses the target by the narrowest of margins!
58' Busquets’ incisive pass finds Ezzalzouli between five Villarreal players, but Albiol’s diving tackle cleanly dispossesses the winger and wins the ball back for his side.
56' De Jong plays another lovely pass through the Villarreal defence for Depay, who fires a quick shot from 18 yards out in an attempt to catch Rulli off-guard. The goalkeeper does well to stick out a leg and make a well-timed save with his foot, keeping the score at 1-0.
54' Pino is incensed as he’s called for a foul after catching Alba in the face with an elbow during an attempt to shield the ball in midfield. It’s a silly turnover of possession for Villarreal, who need to find a way back into the match.
52' After four LaLiga games in a row without a win (D2 L2), Barcelona beat Espanyol 1-0 last time out – they are looking to win back-to-back league games for the first time this season.
50' The fourth official had initially flagged for offside in the build-up as it appeared as though Depay was beyond the last defender, but a lengthy VAR check has sorted out the mess and awarded Barcelona the goal as Albiol was keeping the Barca striker onside.
F. de Jong
48' BARCELONA FIND THE BREAKTHROUGH! 1-0! Ezzalzouli beats Pedraza with a bit of trickery and fires a cross to the far post for Alba. The left-back fires a volley towards goal which receives a touch on its way through by Depay, forcing a reaction save from Rulli. The goalkeeper can only push the ball to the far post for De Jong - who tucks the chance away neatly!
46' Villarreal get the match restarted from the kick-off!
Villarreal’s attacks have predominantly come down the left, with the combination of Pedraza and Gomez seriously testing the Barcelona defence. As tired legs set in, Emery has both Estupinan and former Liverpool full-back Moreno to call upon should he wish to inject more pace down that flank. Barcelona are not without options themselves in order to wrestle back the ascendancy, with both Dembele and the capable if inconsistent Coutinho available for selection - no doubt with their sights set on impressing the new coach. There’s still all to play for in the second half as the two sides haven’t been able to separate themselves.
A frenetic first half of action at the Ceramica comes to a close with both sides somehow unable to score, as Villarreal and Barcelona head into the interval level at 0-0. Parejo’s awful tackle on Busquets - which went unpunished - set the tone of the match from the off, as both sides looked to play fast and physical football, bypassing the midfield in order to orchestrate rapid attacks. Barca had three gilt-edged chances to break the deadlock within the first 15 minutes, but Depay has lacked his usual clinical finishing - with the Netherlands international missing a chance from five yards out. Danjuma has played the same role for the Yellow Submarines, spurning a number of wonderful opportunities to put his side ahead - including sending a close-range effort into the chest of Ter Stegen with the whole goal to aim at.
45' + 3' Pino’s overzealous attempts to win the ball back on his unfamiliar left wing gives Barcelona a chance to clear their lines from just outside the penalty area with a minute to go in the half.
45' + 1' The fourth official indicates four minutes will be added to the end of the half for stoppages.
Yellow Card
44' Pique sends Trigueros to the floor cynically on the halfway line - earning the Barcelona centre-back a yellow card.
43' A Villarreal free-kick on the right is taken cleverly to the far post for an unmarked Parejo, whose airborne volley catches the side netting.
41' The connection between Gomez and Pedraza on the left once again opens up the Barcelona defence, but the winger and full-back have been a half-second off all match as once again the pass forward puts Villarreal in an offside position.
39' CHANCE! Villarreal take advantage of the gap left by the returning Araujo as a pass is hit over the top for Danjuma. The forward brings it down under his control and fires a shot at Ter Stegen - which is perhaps a bit too close to the goalkeeper as he makes a save with his chest.
38' Play remains halted as Araujo looks to be in some pain following Pedraza’s tackle. The defender hobbles off to receive additional treatment, as Xavi’s side are once again temporarily down to 10.
36' Pedraza lets the ball run too far ahead of him inside the penalty area, forcing the full-back into a dangerous sliding challenge ahead of Araujo to try and keep the ball. The Villarreal player wins the ball but takes the Barcelona centre-back out in the process and the referee awards the visitors a free-kick as a result.
34' Pino receives a throw-in and turns his man before hitting the byline. The winger manages to keep the ball in play and deliver a low cross which hits the hands of the goalkeeper, who is unable to keep it under his control. It’s scrambled away at the last minute by a Busquets - who takes out a team-mate in the process.
32' Parejo takes a Villarreal corner to the far post for Torres - who is unable to put his header on goal. It’s a golden chance for the hosts as Ter Stegen had fallen over in pursuit of the aerial ball, but the defender is unable to find the back of the empty net as the chance goes high over the crossbar.
30' Danjuma is played through into the penalty area on the left thanks to a disguised Parejo pass, but the forward fails to hit the target aiming for the far post. His blushes are saved by the referee, however - who awards Barcelona a free-kick after Villarreal were caught offside.
28' Villarreal have failed to win any of their last 24 LaLiga games against Barcelona (D6 L18), their longest winless run against a single opponent in their top-flight history.
Jordi Alba
Yellow Card
26' Alba is also shown a yellow card for his part in the argument with Pino.
Yeremi Pino
Yellow Card
26' Pino receives the first yellow card of the match for his part in a fracas with Alba during a Villarreal corner.
25' Danjuma’s cross to the far post is nodded down by Pino for Trigueros, whose off-balance shot is deflected behind for a corner.
23' Danjuma’s clever backheel flick keeps Villarreal in possession just outside of Barcelona’s penalty area, but Parejo’s pass for Gomez puts the winger in an offside position - giving Barcelona a chance to clear their lines from the free-kick.
21' Pino’s screams are audible as Alba kicks through the standing leg of the young winger, sending him to the turf in pain. It’s a free-kick for Villarreal but once again the match official keeps his cards in his pocket.
20' HOW HAS HE MISSED?! De Jong slips a delightful pass through the Villarreal defensive line and into the penalty area for Depay, whose first-time shot is sent disappointingly wide of Rulli’s net with only the goalkeeper to beat!
18' A pass is lifted over the top of the defence for Danjuma, who is unable to wriggle free of Pique as the veteran centre-back uses all his experience to slow down the rapid Netherlands international.
16' Alba is the latest Barcelona player to come up limping after a tangling of legs with Pino on the left wing. Like Busquets, the full-back seems okay to continue after a bit of treatment but it’s been a physical encounter thus far.
14' Ezzalzouli again beats his man on the right and looks to put a pass to the penalty spot for Depay, but Capoue is aware of the pattern and sticks a leg out to intercept the delivery - protecting Rulli from danger.
12' Foyth’s cynical challenge leaves Gavi limping as Barcelona are given a free-kick in front of the referee in midfield.
10' THE CHANCES KEEP COMING! How is it still 0-0?! De Jong lifts a lovely ball into the penalty area for Depay, who holds up the ball before laying it off to Gavi. The young winger looks to pick out the far corner but sends his shot just wide!
8' CHANCE! Gonzalez’s defence-splitting pass sends Depay on his way towards goal. The Netherlands international puts the ball on his right foot and fires a low effort to the far post, missing the target narrowly!
7' Ezzalzouli skips his way into the penalty area, leaving a defender in his wake before looking to centre a pass to a team-mate. Torres is in the right spot and makes the interception before winning a free-kick for himself 10 yards from Rulli’s goal.
5' UNBELIEVABLE SAVE! WOW! Depay takes a Barcelona corner to the penalty spot for Ezzalzouli, who puts his header right into the top corner. It’s met by a fantastic leaping save from Rulli - who manages to palm the ball onto the crossbar and over despite falling back into his own goal!
3' An early challenge leaves Busquets rolling on the floor in agony. It’s a nasty stamp on the ankle from Parejo, who has escaped without a booking in the first two minutes, though the Barcelona captain looks to be in a spot of real bother.
1' Barcelona get the match underway from the kick-off!
Xavi makes just two changes from his first starting line-up, which saw Barcelona win the derby 1-0. Mingueza makes way for Araujo to play right-back, while it’s one youthful winger for another as Ezzalzouli replaces Akhomach as the coach continues to search for an answer in attack.
Villarreal make four changes from the XI that earned a 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo last time out. Moi Gomez comes in for Moreno on the wing, while Iborra and Pena are dropped for Capue and Pino. The final alteration is in attack, where Dia replaced by Danjuma.
BARCELONA SUBS: Luuk de Jong, Yusuf Demir, Ousmane Dembele, Oscar Mingueza, Neto, Arnau Tenas, Riqui Puig, Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, Ilias Akhomach, Philippe Coutinho, Sergino Dest.
BARCELONA XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Nicolas Gonzalez, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong; Abdessamad Azzalzouli, Memphis Depay, Pablo Gaviria.
VILLARREAL BENCH: Filip Jorgensen, Ruben Pena, Boulaye Dia, Alberto Moreno, Sergio Asenjo, Samuel Chukwueze, Aissa Mandi, Dani Raba, Vicente Iborra, Paco Alcacer, Mario Gaspar, Pervis Estupinan.
VILLARREAL XI (4-4-2): Geronimo Rulli; Alfonso Pedraza, Pau Torres, Raul Albiol, Juan Foyth; Moi Gomez, Dani Parejo, Etienne Capoue, Yeremi Pino; Arnaut Danjuma, Manu Trigueros.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let's take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with our hosts!
Barcelona have yet to concede a goal with Xavi at the helm, as last weekend’s narrow 1-0 victory over Espanyol in the derby was followed by a 0-0 draw with Benfica last Tuesday. The Blaugrana sit in seventh position at the start of play, four points behind Real Betis who have played a fixture more. With Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, and Osasuna all level or a point behind the Catalan club, however, results are needed immediately to prevent a potential slide down the table.
Villarreal’s patchy form continued last weekend, earning a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo which took the Yellow Submarine into 12th place. Unai Emery’s side have been much better at the Ceramica than on their travels, winning 10 of a possible 15 points in their last five matches - though that good form didn’t translate in the week when they lost 2-0 to Manchester United in a repeat of last season’s Europa League final.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the LaLiga fixture between Villarreal and Barcelona!